I am still in awe at the fact that the Philippines is made up of almost 8,000 islands, each of which contributes to the diversity of Filipino culture. If that weren’t enough, there are about 180 different languages spoken throughout the country. Fortunately for us ex-patriots, English is one of the official languages, which makes life in the Philippines much easier. The Filipino people are extremely hospitable and very eager to serve, and their culture of hospitality is one of the reasons tourism continues to thrive and why I call the Philippines my second home.
I often say that Filipino culture reminds me of life in the United States in the fifties. Now there was a time when we were more family oriented and the family unit was the focal point of life in America. Compared to today where the primary focus seems to be financial gain at the expense of family. For example, here in the Philippines, rarely are the elderly sent to live out their last days in nursing homes. In fact, it’s not uncommon to have 2 or 3 generations of family living in the same household, but that seems to be changing as Filipinos become more and more Westernized.
Another thing that shows the Filipino commitment to family is how the children are dedicated to financially supporting their parents and grandparents. I think many of us U.S. “baby-boomers” would be hard-pressed if we had to rely on our kids for financial help. Some of us will blame the economy, others will blame “the Millennials”, but really the guilt lies within our culture.
In addition to beautiful lands, and a beautiful, family-oriented culture, the Philippines is also made up of beautiful people. In my estimation, Filipinas are among the most beautiful women in the world. I must admit, my first visit to the Philippines was in search of romance. After my third failed marriage, the first order of business was counseling and the second was expanding my horizons. I joined several dating sites and wasn’t quite satisfied with the potential mates. As my search continued, I gravitated to sites featuring Asian women, which ultimately led me to the Philippines.
The amazing thing about most Filipina that I’ve observed is, they are truly equal opportunity lovers. They don’t seem to care about age, race or religion. They embrace their sexuality in a way that is mature and seductive, yet classy and respectable. Even professional women put a lot of effort into maintaining their physical appearance.
During my first visit, a couple older guys recommended that I be careful and take my time finding a mate. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow their sound advice. As a result, I had more than a couple bad experiences, but I also had lots and lots of fun. And although my first few encounters did not result in finding my ideal mate, this whole journey has been a valuable learning experience.
Kid in a Candy Store
I have always thought of myself as a “one-woman man” but living in the Philippines makes you really question who you are. Sometimes, I feel like a kid in a candy store, and I’m constantly reminding myself that “I’m not that guy”. To makes matters worse, a working class, middle age, bald headed, nerd from America is treated like royalty in the Philippines. Like many foreigners, I came here looking for a lady that was honest, trustworthy, loyal and of course beautiful. But like we say in the U.S., “all that glitters, ain’t gold!” Young, beautiful, intelligent women are in abundance, but true honesty is harder to find. I break it down like this:
- 10% Scammers – You find these girls on social media and dating sites. They’re mostly young, pretty girls looking for a quick buck from some lonely, gullible, older men.
- 10% Sex Workers – You find these girls working in strip clubs and discos. Many of them single mothers and only use sex work to support themselves and their families.
- 20% Opportunists – You find these girls mostly in the big cities. Some may have a job, but they are constantly on the look-out for an opportunity to improve their lives.
- 20% True Believers – These girls believe in true love and can be found almost anywhere but are hard to date. You must court them and take time to know them and their family.
- 40% Untouchables – These girls are heavily influenced by their families and tend to shy away from foreigners because of our liberal culture. Most have strong religious beliefs and can only be approached by visiting their province or their church. Like the True Believers, be prepared for a long courtship.
Fortunately for me, I have had the pleasure of meeting all 5 categories of Filipina and my life has been greatly enriched by all. Even the few scammers that I met have added value to my experience here. Of course, I don’t blame the women. It’s mostly our fault. Many foreigners have come here for years flashing cash, living in luxury, and treating Filipinos as inferior because of their economic status. As a result, when most women see foreigners, they see dollars signs; low-hanging fruit ready to be plucked. And like we often don’t see past the beauty, some Filipina can’t see past the money.
I have also had the opportunity befriend several sex workers. Their stories are heartbreaking and at the same time enlightening and inspiring. Many are single mothers, and most are supporting their families, even paying college tuition for younger siblings. The ones I have met are very intelligent, fluent in English and are experts in pleasing a man.
In my experience, sex workers are honest about their intentions. To the contrary, opportunists often lie to gain trust and tend to disguise their true motives. I have met many that will date a foreigner while maintaining a relationship with a local boyfriend or even a husband. If you meet a woman in the city that is young and sexy hold on to your wallet!
If you are lucky enough to meet a “True Believer”, please be patient! Like I discussed earlier, Filipinos are very family-oriented, so it will take you some time to build a rapport with her family and be considered a serious suitor. There will be no instant gratification.
I imagine most foreigners like me that have good intentions, meet someone online, chat for a few months, and finally visit the woman here in the Philippines. The problem is that many times the person you meet online is just a façade. Naturally people want their online image to be appealing. Be prepared to go home “empty handed”. Its better to do that than to rush into a bad relationship.
Invest your time and resources wisely and Life in the Philippines can be very rewarding
Peace and be well.